Oral Surgeon  What They Do

Just the Facts


Performs surgery and related procedures on the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial regions to treat diseases, injuries, or defects. May diagnose problems of the oral and maxillofacial regions. May perform surgery to improve function or appearance.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Administers general and local anesthetics.
  • Collaborates with other professionals, such as restorative dentists and orthodontists, to plan treatment.
  • Evaluates the position of the wisdom teeth to determine whether problems exist currently or might occur in the future.
  • Performs surgery to prepare the mouth for dental implants, and to aid in the regeneration of deficient bone and gum tissues.
  • Removes impacted, damaged, and non-restorable teeth.
  • Treats infections of the oral cavity, salivary glands, jaws, and neck.
  • Removes tumors and other abnormal growths of the oral and facial regions, using surgical instruments.
  • Provides emergency treatment of facial injuries including facial lacerations, intra-oral lacerations, and fractured facial bones.
  • Treats problems affecting the oral mucosa, such as mouth ulcers and infections.
  • Restores form and function by moving skin, bone, nerves, and other tissues from other parts of the body to reconstruct the jaws and face.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



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Dentists, General

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous situations involving possible injury such as cuts, bites, stings, and minor burns more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Exposed to radiation more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon (OMS) -- Performs surgery on mouth, jaws, and related head and neck structure to execute difficult and multiple extractions of teeth, to remove tumors and other abnormal growths, to correct abnormal jaw relations by mandibular or maxillary revision, to prepare mou